Cardi B’s yearslong libel battle recently came to an end when a jury awarded the rap star $4 million in her suit against a celebrity gossip blogger. The case appears to be, at least anecdotally, emblematic of a rising number of famous people who feel that their reputations have taken a hit over something written about them. But none of those cases comes with the political heft of the one playing out this week in a Manhattan courtroom. On one side is former Alaska governor and Republican star Sarah Palin—a critic of the “lamestream media.” On the other is the oldest and one of the most widely read news organizations in the world, the 170-year-old New York Times.
In a broader sense, the Palin case could be a watershed moment for a Supreme Court ruling that has provided free-speech protection for newsrooms across America for nearly 60 years, New York Times v. Sullivan.